Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 2-6

"As the State Department assumed many of the military’s tasks, including training Iraq’s national police, the diplomatic mission grew to nearly 20 support personnel for each official." 

--Karen DeYoung, "U.S. reducing plans for large civilian force in post-2014 Afghanistan," Washington Post; image from


Women in Public Diplomacy - PDiN Monitor Fall 2012 Volume 3, Issue 6, USC Center on Public Diplomacy


PD Video Introduction - Syracuse University: "This is the opening to the 2013 Public Diplomacy Class Production... Estimated date of completion unknown right now."


Measuring the Public Diplomacy of the Future - Remarks, Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC December 3, 2012, "If the case to be made for public diplomacy is challenging, then the case against it is even harder.

Our common sense, our self interests, our sense of right and wrong, and the extremely persuasive evidence for its effectiveness that we see every day show that public diplomacy is vital to sustaining our global leadership, protecting our people and building our prosperity." Image from

U.S. Embassy Kuwait ‏@USEmbassyQ8 -"Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, Tara Sonenshine, held a discussion on public diplomacy via Twitter."

Department of State Marks Wildlife Conservation Day - Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC, U.S. Department of State: "U.S. missions around the globe will mark Wildlife Conservation Day on December 4 with programs including speaking engagements at local schools, film presentations, roundtables, an appearance by Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin at the U.S. Department of State, and a videotaped call to action by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In Washington D.C., Jeff Corwin, host and executive

producer of Animal Planet’s 'The Jeff Corwin Experience,' will speak at the Department of State’s Ralph Bunche Library at 11 a.m. on December 4. Mr. Corwin will be joined by Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Kerri-Ann Jones." Image from

Jeh Johnson and the Fight against Al-Qaeda - Public Diplomacy and International Communications: Thoughts and comments about public diplomacy, soft power and international communications by Gary Rawnsley: "Jeh Johnson, General Counsel for the US Department of Defense, has announced that the end of the armed conflict against al-Qaeda is fast approaching. He foresees how responsibility for engaging with terrorism will pass to 'the police and other law enforcement agencies.' ... If the US is serious about defeating terrorism, Mr Jeh should be making room for the role of information, communications and public diplomacy. There should be an explicit recognition that dialogue is essential with communities in the affected areas, but also in the principal recruiting grounds of the terrorist networks - and especially the US and UK. There needs to be greater attention to addressing the issues that push young Muslims into believing that there is no solution to their problems other than violence, and this means coming to terms with the poverty, unemployment, alienation and general dissatisfaction that many feel with their lives. Bringing the Muslim youth into a conversation about problems and solutions would be a step forwards. I wrote about some of these issues in my 23 March 2011 blog post, A Marked Man in America. It is disappointing that, eighteen months on and at a time when senior members of the US administration are seriously discussing the end of the military phase of the battle with al-Qaeda, apparently there is still no room for understanding the role that public diplomacy and genuine dialogue and discussion can play."

Public Diplomacy as a National Security Necessity - Marc Hedman, fourtherecordpd: "National security is the single biggest selling point to Americans. We’ve been sold all kinds of nonsense in the name of national security. In the case of public diplomacy, however, it is not too much of a leap of faith to say that it is needed to shore up national security.

In the case of counter-terrorism especially, public diplomacy can be a potent deterrent to prospective extremists or those with an axe to grind." Image from

US Department of State representative on public diplomacy to arrive in Azerbaijan [03 December 2012 18:12] - Victoria Dementeva, APA: "Representative of the US Department of State on public diplomacy and public affairs Bay Fang will arrive in Azerbaijan this week. Press service of the US embassy in Azerbaijan told APA that Bay Fang will meet with the representatives of youth organizations on December 5-6 and become familiar with the situation of public diplomacy in Azerbaijan. The US official also plans to meet with youth, who are the participants of the US education program in Sumgayit and Salyan. Bay Fang will also visit Armenia and Georgia within her visit to the region."

Michelle Kwan, bureaucrat: Skating champ now has State Department job - The Reliable Source, Washington Post: bout a year and a half after moving to D.C., the former Olympian is launched on a career track, with a new job this fall at the State Department. Official title: Senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs.

'People say it’s a 180 for me,' Kwan told us. 'But I traveled the world representing the U.S. for years.'” Kwan image from article, with caption: Michelle Kwan, former champion figure skater and now a State Department senior advisor for public diplomacy and public affairs, speaking at a Washington Post Live event ("Leading the Way: Women in 2012").

Great Blog on Public Diplomacy in Afghanistan - "On August 23, 2010, Professor J. Michael Waller on his blog recommended an excellent blog called ‘Public Diplomacy in Afghanistan’. It’s run by Mahtab Farid, a US State Department public diplomacy officer in Kabul. Excerpts below: Mahtab is a hugely capable diplomat and communicator, and it’s really gratifying to see how the State Department public diplomacy shop is allowing its officers to make more use of unofficial online media. ‘Public Diplomacy in Afghanistan’ contains compelling, upbeat human interest stories about individual Afghans as well as about US and Coalition troops and their relations with Afghans. The blogger shows a particular interest in Afghan children, both in their own development as people and in their interactions with the Coalition. It’s a great reminder of the many positive aspects of the Good Fight in Afghanistan."

His Music Gave Jazz New Pop - Ben Ratliff, New York Times: "Dave Brubeck, the pianist and composer who helped make jazz popular again in the 1950s and ’60s with recordings like 'Time Out,' the first jazz album

to sell a million copies, and 'Take Five,' the still instantly recognizable hit single that was that album’s centerpiece, died on Wednesday in Norwalk, Conn. ... In 1958, as part of a State Department program that brought jazz as an offer of good will during the cold war, [Brubeck's] quartet traveled in the Middle East and India, and Mr. Brubeck became intrigued by musical languages that didn’t stick to 4/4 time — what he called 'march-style jazz,' the meter that had been the music’s bedrock." Image from article, with caption: Dave Brubeck performed at a jazz festival in 2010.

New House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman wants a Radio Free Europe for Iran, staffed by "young Iranians" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Re-imagining the World Expo - Jay Wang, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, has won the bid to host the International Exposition in 2017, beating out another candidate city, Liège of Belgium. The President of Kazakhstan hailed it as the world’s recognition of not only the city but also his country. ...[G]iven its enduring presence and impact on public life and global imagination, the World Expo deserves our continuing attention in both the study and practice of public diplomacy and nation branding."

Cultural diplomacy plays role in building societies - "The role of cultural diplomacy in building bridges among different people came under focus at a symposium organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday at the UN House in Mishref.

The symposium, a first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, saw experts from various walks of life bringing their experience to the table." Image from article, with caption: Kuwait: Sheikha Hussa Al-Salem Al-Sabah welcoming the participants on Monday.

PM Netanyahu summarizes Operation Pillar of Defense - Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday evening (4 December 2012), at his Jerusalem office, attended the meeting of the National Public Diplomacy Forum to summarize Operation Pillar of Defense.

Participating in the meeting were the head of the National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister's Office and senior public diplomacy officials from the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, the IDF, the Israel Police, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry and other bodies. At the start of his remarks, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: 'This forum and its coordinated work of which during Operation Pillar of Defense are an important component in our national resilience. I think that this operation proved the importance of public diplomacy. What was the war about? The war was about our very existence. We left areas that we captured in the Six Day War, like the Gaza Strip, and they fire missiles at us.Therefore, our top public diplomacy mission is to explain that the root of this conflict is not territorial. It is over our very existence in any borders whatsoever.'" See also. Image from  entry

Israel's public relations problem - Noga Tarnopolsky, "[A] series of public relations blunders ... have plagued Israel in recent months and years, hurting its diplomatic standing with the rest of the world and confounding some of its staunchest allies. Tamir Sheafer, a Hebrew University professor and an expert on political communications, said Israel remains an insular society, its acoustics still not adapted to the ears of an international market. ...'Dealing with the foreign media is simply too low on our national list of priorities,'said Sheafer . ...'I have been screaming about this for years. Public diplomacy is ignored. During the Lebanon war we had five people in the entire country whose job it was to deal with the foreign media. ...' In the military spokesman's office, young officers with barely any media training are charged with representing the county's policies to the world. "

Yeltsin Gangnam Style - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "Meanwhile, as I was doing some preliminary background research on Russian public diplomacy for my pre-dissertation work, I came across this priceless video - Yeltsin Gangnam Style. Funny, that while Psy and his YouTube record, are credited for enhancing South Korea's soft power and promoting its nation brand, the dancing Yeltsin was certainly among Russia's worst image nightmares."

Strategic Communication: U.S.-China Public and Cultural Diplomacy - The Group Five : IC-IM Crew: "While not new concepts, public and cultural diplomacy have subsequently become embracing elements within the realm of international relations for not only establishing close communication, but also developing long-term relationships. In the case of the U.S. and China, over the past few years both nations have increased

the use of soft power methods to promote their respective cultures, values, and ideals by interacting with other states, and more importantly engaging with the foreign public. 
Utilizing two soft power methods of diplomacy the U.S. and China are pursuing new forms of statecraft within their engagement with one another. One strong reason behind this statement relates to the Chinese government's Confucius Institute initiative, which first began in 2004. This public and cultural diplomacy initiative made by China, was established to promote cultural exchanges and the learning of Chinese language and culture." Image from

[sic:]moncler CPPCC Standing Committee member Zhao Qizheng external communication shou - "Zhao Qizheng reforming and opening 30 years, the high speed of economic development and social progress in China has come to the center of the world stage.But in the international public opinion, we are still on the defensive, often fall into the 'rational difficult to win' situation. Strengthen public diplomacy, to show China to the world of the true situation,hollister milano, through enhancing the media dissemination ability to build a good international environment of public opinion, China is facing the urgent strategic task."

Making Beliebers Out of State Social Media Efforts? - evanmcarlson, "Frankly, of the challenges facing states in their use of social media, speed is the easiest to deal with.

The more interesting challenge moving forward is looking at how states penetrate networks that hold key target demographics. In a world obsessed with the online musings of the Bieber, or the latest news and information from the Star Wars universe, how does a state play any kind of role?" Image from entry

The challenge of Public Diplomacy for Multilateral Organizations - Lívia Pontes,  "Narratives, and thus, Public Diplomacy strategies can only be legitimizing when they are in tune with true identity . ... Because of ... identity conflicts, countries continue to carry out their individual PD in tandem with the larger strategy in place for the EU as a whole, sending mixed messages and consequently weakening the image of the alliance."

Public Diplomacy and Propaganda: Rethinking Diplomacy in the Age of Persuasion - Nancy Snow, "In this essay I would not purport to convince that propaganda and public diplomacy are interchangeable terms, just relatable. They fall apart and come together across intersections in the minds of disparate groups."

Food Diplomacy - Gaby, "Overall, food helps transcend boundaries, an imperative for public diplomacy."

Public Diplomacy and The University of South Carolina [sic] Center on Public Diplomacy - "Recently, and notably since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC, public diplomacy has attracted increased attention from both practitioners and scholars from many parts of the world."

Public Diplomacy released - Imam Sadiq University Press: "Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy co-edited by Nancy Snow and Phillip M. Taylor is converted  [sic] into Persian by Rouhollah Talebi Arani." Image from entry


Doubts about drone strikes persist - Doyle McManus, Reining in drones -- holding them to their original use against terrorists who pose an imminent threat to the United States -- would be a good idea.

‘Forgotten in Iraq’ - Beth Murphy, New York Times: "I hoped, as did many Iraqi workers whose lives were in danger, that an Obama presidency would usher in an airlift rescue for America’s Iraqi employees. ... Unfortunately, neither a dramatic airlift nor a steady wave of relief was in the cards.

In the five years since this crisis first came into my life, I’ve documented the extraordinary efforts of Kirk Johnson, a former U.S.A.I.D. employee, as he champions the causes of his former co-workers in Iraq and their peers." Image from

Recognizing the Opposition in Syria - Room for Debate, New York Times: Last month major opposition groups joined to form the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, giving it some diplomatic credibility. Although the United States has been slow in officially recognizing the coalition, it is considering labeling another group, the Nusra Front, a terrorist organization, which would show solidarity. Should the U.S. officially recognize the new Syrian coalition?

Egypt Makes its Case in Washington - Carol Giacomo, New York Times: Egypt is in the midst of the worst political crisis since the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and Egyptian president Morsi is adopting tactics and policies that invoke inevitable comparison to his autocratic predecessor.

From Bushehr to the Bomb: Add plutonium to Iran's nuclear weapons risks - Review and Outlook, Wall Street Jounral: As always with Iran's nuclear ambitions, the worst suspicions come true.

A free-trade agreement with Europe? - David Ignatius, Washington Post: Europeans remain worried that the Obama administration’s famous “pivot” toward Asia will leave them abandoned at a time of severe internal economic and political trouble. But a big idea is taking shape that could revitalize the U.S.-European partnership for the 21st century. The idea is free trade — specifically, a trans-Atlantic free-trade agreement — “TAFTA.”

State Department to Have USG’s Most Restrictive Social Media Rules - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: The State Department will have the most restrictive social media rules of any Federal agency under these new standards, proposing, among other amazing things, that all Department employee Facebook posts and Tweets of “matters of official concern” (whatever your boss chooses to define that as)

undergo a two-day review process. Such rules will either require hundreds of full-time reviewers, or, most likely, be ignored in most instances and hauled out selectively when needed to punish an individual. See also. Image from entry

4th Military Information Support Group holds first 'Cross-Cultural Communication Competition' at Fort Bragg - Understanding culture and language proficiency is the key to solving problems across the spectrum of Special Operations. In response to the growing emphasis on cultural and language proficiency, the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) conducted its first Cross-Cultural Communication Competition (C4) from Nov. 4-8, 2012. The C4 evaluated over 26

Regional Military Information Support Teams on their ability to demonstrate cultural competencies in multiple foreign environments. In partnership with the USASOC Command Language Program, Special Operations Center for Enhanced Performance, Reservoir International and the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, the C4 consisted of 24 scenarios based on real-world cultures and societies throughout Africa, Southwest Asia and Europe. Image from article, with caption: The competing teams gather together before beginning the 4th Military Information Support Group (Airborne) Cross Cultural Communication Competition.

Don't Mind The Propaganda, The CIA-Jihadist Alliance Is Still Rock Solid - Saman Mohammadi, The Islamist nature of the violent uprising against the Syrian government has been suppressed in the Western narrative of the conflict in order to convince the Western public that the rebels are fighting for a worthy cause. But it is the leaders of the rebels who are destroying the romantic view of their struggle as portrayed in the morally bankrupt establishment media. Islamist leaders who are leading the rebels' fight against Assad are saying openly that they plan to establish an Islamic dictatorship in Syria after the West helps them overthrow their secular nemesis.

Iran Flies Propaganda; US Denies Drone Downed: The US has denied an Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ claim that they downed a US spy drone, possibly part of the regime’s propaganda - Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Undiluted propaganda from the BBC’s Jon Donnison - So, with carefully selected information, continuing misrepresentation and an obvious attempt to appeal to his audience’s emotions by use of loaded messages, Donnison manages to produce a ‘report’ which does a pretty good impression of being taken straight from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign propaganda handbook rather than anything approaching the standard of informative, accurate and impartial reporting which the BBC is committed to providing for its audiences.

Commander: Israel's Propaganda about Iron Dome Destroyed by Palestinian Missiles - The missiles fired by the Palestinian Resistance groups at Israel deflated Israel's boastful claims about the unbeatable power

of its missile defense system, known as the 'Iron Dome', a senior Iranian commander said. "The missile fired (at Israel) by Palestinian defenders made the Zionists' propaganda campaign (about Iron Dome) fall flat and scared and terrified Israelis in a way that they do not feel secure in any part of the occupied territories (Israel) now," Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy General Alireza Tangsiri said. Iron Dome image from

Gaza thwarts Israeli propaganda with Twitter - Joe Catron, The Electronic Intifada: In periods of relative calm, many Gaza Strip residents use social media, mainly Twitter, to report Israeli bombings and share updates. During the war, these same tools helped spread news of mounting casualties and mobilize international support.

Zimbabwe: Propaganda, Spectator Democracy - Reason Wafawarova, Propaganda is the art of deceiving populations - driving reluctant people into hysterics by whatever means necessary, many times eliciting from the population jingoistic fanaticism. This could simply be by terrifying the population with anything that can work, be it a concocting of terrorism tales or the flagging of another country as a major

threat to the people's sovereignty and security. Zimbabweans must brave themselves for a roller coaster dispensation as political parties in the country will take the population through massive doses of earthshaking propaganda in the run up to the March 2013 election. Image from

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